Classical Mechanics

Use core principles of physics to understand matter in motion—from drones to fireflies.

Formula One Racing

Cellular Automaton

Huygens's Clock Puzzle

Kinematics in the City

The Kinematic Equations

Angular Kinematics

Projectile Motion

Gene Expression Problem

What are Forces?

The Three Laws of Motion

Weight and Scales



Drag Forces

Banked Curve Problem

Exploring Energy

Work-Energy Theorem

Conservation of Energy


Elastic Energy

Potential Energy

Drone Battery Problem

Momentum in the Office

Impulse-Momentum Theorem

Rocket Equation

Ideal Gas Law

Photon Problem

Relativity on the Train

Center-of-Mass Frame

Rotating Frames

Einstein's Theory of Relativity

Tower of Cards

Irregular Towers

Static Equilibrium

Rope Statics

Body Statics

Plank Statics

Energy Landscapes

Elastic Forces

Simple Harmonic Oscillators


Large-Angle Pendulum

Vibrations in Molecules

Coupled Oscillations


Loaded Strings

Firefly Problem

Natural Units

Lagrangian Mechanics

Course description

Here we'll establish the bedrock principles of physics and use them to reveal matter in motion; from drones and rockets to skyscrapers and blinking fireflies. By the end, you'll develop a rigorous approach to describing the natural world and you'll be ready to take on new challenges in quantum mechanics and special relativity.

Topics covered

  • Forces
  • Kinematics
  • Kinetic Energy
  • Momentum
  • Newton's Laws
  • Oscillations
  • Potential Energy
  • Projectile Motion
  • Reference Frames
  • Rocket Equation
  • Static Equilibrium
  • Work

Prerequisites and next steps

You’ll need an understanding of mathematics and fundamental physics. We recommend starting your physics journey with Physics of the Everyday.


  • Calculus Fundamentals
  • Integral Calculus